A Last Look Back at the Zoo

I wanted to make one other comment before leaving the Seattle Zoo. Although I’ve focused on birds because of my recent interest in birding, the excellent ape exhibits actually seemed the most impressive.

Woodland Park’s gorilla Bobo was a mainstay of the zoo when I was younger. His popularity led to a major display, one of the first to provide “natural habitat” at the zoo. It’s gotten even better since I last visited it, and if we’d been a little luckier Lael and I would have seen the new baby gorilla. As it was, I enjoyed watching the gorillas “foraging” for food, particularly watching this one use a stick to retrieve a piece of fruit that had floated down the stream.

Gorrila retrieving fruit with stick

I’ll have to admit, though, that I was more impressed by the orangutan exhibit, which provided a widely-varied environment. While trying to sight an orangutan, I was amazed to see this young orangutan emerge from this gunny sack that it had covered itself with.

Young Orangutan Covered with  Bag

The zoo has done an admirable job of providing natural settings and varied activities in many of its exhibits. In doing so, they’ve managed to show the animals off in a much better light than neurotic, caged animals. It may be annoying when animals choose to disappear the day you choose to go the zoo, but it seems much more rewarding when you can observe them in what appears to be a “natural” setting. I was particularly impressed by the number of apes that I saw using “tools” to get food.

2 thoughts on “A Last Look Back at the Zoo”

  1. I haven’t been to a zoo in ages, but I always love the gorillas and orangs. There is such wisdom in their eyes. I would love to know what they are thinking!

  2. Hi, I was just idly clicking links that I haven’t visited in a very long time, and found my way here. That photo of the orangutan is exactly like one we saw last year in Colchester zoo here in the UK. It was just starting to rain, and the orang pulled out a sack she had tucked away, and put it on just like a coat. It had a hole in for her head, and she carefully arranged it so that it protected her head from the rain whilst still letting her see out (and watch us watching her!) It was so like a human putting on clothing, it was quite uncanny. An image that will stay with me for a long time.

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